The 2014-2015 IESE application deadlines have been announced! The four rounds of deadlines are as follows:
Application Deadline: October 7, 2014
Decision Notification: December 12, 2014
Application Deadline: January 13, 2015
Decision Notification: March 37, 2015
Application Deadline: March 3, 2015
Decision Notification: May 8, 2015
Application Deadline: May 19, 2015
Decision Notification: July 3, 2015
IESE recommends that all non-EU citizens apply before April. For more information, visit the school’s admissions website.
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business this summer is hosting 17 entrepreneurial ventures as part of its startup incubator program, the school reports.
Called the “Startup Hoyas Summer Launch Program,” the incubator was designed specifically for current Georgetown students and recent graduates who want to launch a new venture. Participating students enjoy a range of benefits, including dedicated support from Georgetown faculty, mentors and experienced entrepreneurs. Continue reading…
Following up on the recent release of Kenan-Flagler’s 2014-2015 application essays, we wanted to weigh in with some thoughts on this year’s prompts.
UNC has dropped its number of required essays from three 500-word responses last year to just one required 500-word response this year, though applicants also have the option of responding to up to three non-mandatory 300-word queries. This change is in step with a broader trend of essay reduction that we’ve been observing across the leading U.S. schools, though the additional optional prompts offer UNC applicants a good opportunity to touch on a range of elements in their backgrounds while demonstrating their interest in the school. Broadly, this year’s Kenan-Flagler essays reflect a focus on applicant’s career plans and reasoning behind them, as well as ways that candidates would contribute to the community and succeed in the classroom.
Let’s take a closer look at each essay:
Essay 1 (Required): Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. Explain how: your professional experience has shaped these goals; why this career option appeals to you; and how you arrived at the decision that now is the time and the MBA is the appropriate degree. (500 words)
A repeat of an essay from the previous admissions cycle, this fairly standard career goals essay is Kenan-Flagler’s only required essay. Applicants will need to describe their professional aspirations—both immediately following an MBA and on a larger long-term scale, as well as the formative experience and underlying motivation behind them. Effective essays will clearly address each element of the prompt—identifying (1) a short-term goal and (2) a long-term goal, and addressing (3) ways their work to date has informed this objective, (4) why this career option is appealing, (5) why graduate school now, and (6) why an MBA in particular—a somewhat tall order, in just 500 words. Applicants will therefore need to be clear and direct in their writing and judicious in their use of words.
Naturally, in the course of the “why MBA” portion of this response, it would behoove candidates to comment on how exactly the Kenan-Flagler MBA specifically would position them to achieve their career goals rather than writing generically about the benefits of this credential. Therefore, knowing the details of Kenan-Flagler’s MBA program will be helpful in answering the last part of the prompt. Taking the time to learn about the school’s curriculum, special programs and extracurricular activities – whether through a visit to campus, conversation with alumni or reading the Clear Admit School Guide to Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC – will pay dividends here.
Essay 2 (Optional): What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to UNC Kenan-Flagler? (300 words)
This question gives applicants the opportunity to share some information about their interests and experiences that set them apart from other applicants, while simultaneously showcasing their knowledge of and fit with Kenan-Flagler. Specifically calling for “personal qualities and life experiences,” this essay invites applicants to provide more intimate insight into who they are and what they care about outside of the office. Details matter here, so think about how you can translate your passions and past experiences into involvement on the UNC campus, and indicate specific contributions that you would like to make. Creating a link between your past and future at the program will enable you to present a consistent and clear picture of your candidacy and professional and personal interests. The more information you can provide about how exactly you would contribute (playing a certain role in organizing a particular event, for example), the more reason you’ll give the adcom to admit you.
Essay 3 (Optional): If your standardized test scores are low, or if you have not had coursework in core business subjects (calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting), please tell us how you plan to prepare yourself for the quantitative rigor of the MBA curriculum. (300 words)
This response is directed toward applicants with quantitative liabilities in their applications. Applicants should therefore first consider whether either of the conditions of this question applies to them; if your GMAT score falls below the average of enrolled students in the MBA program or if your academic transcripts don’t demonstrate a track record of success in quantitative work in classroom settings, then you should consider addressing this question. As for the response itself, applicants should focus on ways they’ll prepare before they arrive on campus, whether through additional coursework, group or self-study, or through seeking out more quantitatively-oriented responsibilities at work.
Essay 4 (Optional): Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? (300 words)
This response will be an appropriate place to address any elements of one’s application that need further explanation (e.g. recommender choice, expected promotions, etc.). The wording of this essay is fairly open and inviting, and so it may be an appropriate place to share an additional anecdote or highlight an impressive accomplishment. Applicants should aim to demonstrate good judgment in deciding whether to respond to this prompt, and should take care not to introduce information that appears elsewhere in their materials or that could have been covered in response to one of the above essays.
Continuing our series of posts analyzing the essay topics of top business schools, we’re now turning our attention to the UVA Darden essay for 2014-2015.
Darden has retained its structure of one 500-word essay for a third year running, though in past years the school has included additional short responses in its online data form, which isn’t yet available for this admissions cycle. The school is again asking applicants to recount a professional situation and reflect on its larger implications, though the focus of this one required essay has shifted a bit—from tackling challenge and complexity to exercising courage. Let’s take a closer look at the question:
Essay 1: Describe the most courageous professional decision you have made or action you have taken. What did you learn from that experience? (500 words maximum)
The descriptor “courageous” could encompass a wide range of workplace situations, from assuming responsibility for a large, high-stakes project to taking a stand on an office policy that affected a relatively small subset of people. Unlike an accomplishment-specific essay, the adcom isn’t necessarily focused on impressive results or bottom-line impact (though if your example happens to include these, it certainly wouldn’t hurt); rather, Darden’s adcom seems most interested in an applicants process of persuading others or taking initiative, even if the results weren’t what the applicant was aiming for. One thing to keep in mind is that in order for a decision or action to be courageous, there must by definition be some element of fear, doubt or uncertainty at play, and so the best topics and their descriptions will likely have an emotional valence.
As always, it’s important to fully address both elements of the prompt, fully detailing the relevant context, the decision or action and the reasons behind it, as well as the subsequent events and outcomes. This should be followed by a treatment of the lessons that the applicant drew from this act of courage. While not explicitly requested, it would make sense to touch on ways that the applicant has used these lessons—or anticipates using them as a Darden student or alum—at the close of this response. This might even include a remark about bravely starting a student club or getting involved in a new on-campus activity that you’ve learned about through personal research, conversations with members of the Darden community and resources such as the Clear Admit School Guide to the Darden School of Business.
For some additional insight, see the Darden MBA Admissions blog for video pointers from Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions Sara Neher.
** This post will be updated with comments on optional and reapplicant essays as these prompts become available.
Northwestern/Kellogg has announced its essay topics for the 2014-2015 admissions season, which are as follows:
Essay One: Resilience. Perseverance. Grit. Call it what you will…. Challenges can build character. Describe a challenging experience you’ve had. How were you tested? What did you learn? (450 words)
Essay Two: Leadership requires an ability to collaborate with and motivate others. Describe a professional experience that required you to influence people. What did this experience teach you about working with others, and how will it make you a better leader? (450 words)
Re-applicant Essay: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)
Optional Essay/Additional Information: If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)
Visit Northwestern/Kellogg’s admissions website for more information.
Clear Admit this month welcomed a new Admissions Counselor to our team of experts. Erin Hale joins us from Columbia Business School (CBS), where she worked in admissions for three years as a member of both the recruitment and operations teams. Erin brings not only her in-depth knowledge of the CBS admissions process and MBA admissions in general, but also a passion for working with MBA applicants.
Erin has been drawn to admissions since her college days at Colgate University, where she volunteered in the admissions office while completing her degree in English. She had a brief but enjoyable stint at publisher John Wiley following graduation, but soon enough the pull to return to work in admissions was too hard to resist. Working first in transfer admissions at Marymount Manhattan College, she came to CBS in 2011. Continue reading…
This week in Trivia Tuesday, in which we highlight the distinguishing aspects of top business schools, we’re opening up our Stanford School Guide for a closer look at their Public Management and Social Innovation Program.
“The Public Management Program (PMP) was founded in 1960s by then-dean Arjay Miller to promote communication and collaboration between leaders of government and business. His experience as president of Ford Motor Companies provided the impetus for this initiative; in this role, he witnessed firsthand the misunderstandings between politicians and those in the private sector. The PMP became part of the Center for Social Innovation in 2000, and today the Center has the broader mission of preparing students to address social and environmental problems. Continue reading…
With Booth’s announcement of its 2014-2015 presentation/essay topic last week, we’re following up with some thoughts about how applicants might approach this ever-challenging task.
In a new twist on a familiar format, Booth is again asking applicants to “show themselves” to the admissions committee via an essay or a visual presentation. Perhaps the most interesting change for this season is the removal of any length restriction; whereas in previous years Booth has set forth a strict four-slide or 600-word maximum length for this element of its application, this year the adcom leaves this entirely to the applicant’s “best judgment.” While it will likely be prudent for essay-writing applicants to at least be cognizant of the word count of previous years, this change affords applicants choosing the presentation route a good deal of freedom to play with space and timing (while still being mindful of the adcom’s time and attention span, of course).
Let’s take a closer look at the prompt itself:
Presentation/Essay: Chicago Booth values adventurous inquiry, diverse perspectives, and a collaborative exchange of ideas. This is us. Who are you?
- Be reflective. We’ve learned a lot about you throughout the application, but what more should we know?
- Interpret broadly. “Who are you?” can be interpreted in many different ways. We encourage you to think critically and broadly about who you are, and how your values, passions and experiences have influenced you.
- Determine your own length. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length. We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.
- Choose the format that works for you. You can design your presentation or compose your essay in the format that you feel best captures your response. However, please consider the specific technical restrictions noted below.
- Think about you, not us. Rather than focusing on what you think we want to hear, focus on what is essential for us to know about you. Simply put, be genuine.
This somewhat unusual and unstructured prompt speaks to Chicago Booth’s interest in the applicant’s interests, personality, and skills in self-expression. All of this “white space”—whether in essay or presentation format—might be daunting to some, but an easy way to approach this process is to ask oneself a few simple questions. What new and important information about yourself can you introduce to the adcom? How does that information lend itself to the formats available (essay vs. presentation)? Are you more of a visual presenter/thinker who will be very comfortable showcasing information in PowerPoint or other software, or is writing more your strength/comfort zone? In terms of organization for a presentation or an essay, are there separate topics to which you would like to devote a slide each or essay section? Or would you prefer to use the framework of your presentation or paragraphs of an essay to create a sense of progression through a current activity, past experience, “day in the life,” etc.?
We’re hesitant to provide too much guidance given the free-form nature of the task; the best advice we can offer is to think about who you are (and how this might be of interest to the Booth adcom in light of their stated values), consider how you could translate this into words and images, and then give it a try. Showing the initial result to someone who knows you well could be a great way to determine the effectiveness of a working draft. You might also wish to refresh yourself on how to present your “fit” with aspects of Chicago Booth’s culture, such that taking the time to learn more about the school’s MBA program – whether through a visit to campus, conversation with alumni or reading the Clear Admit School Guide to Chicago Booth.
We understand that this question can seem extremely challenging, so feel free to contact us for a free consultation in which a Clear Admit Admissions Counselor can help you think through the elements of your profile and determine how to best approach Booth’s application.
Reapplicant Essay: Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 words)
Whereas some reapplicant essays focus on material improvements in the applicant’s candidacy (e.g. promotions, improved leadership skills), this brief response is more focused on personal growth and changes in perspective since the applicant last applied. Specifically, this prompt seems to invite comments about ways the applicant has calibrated career goals, become better acquainted with Booth, or gained a better understanding of how an MBA will fit into a larger career trajectory. Those material improvements we mentioned before are worth commenting on, of course, but the tone of this response should be reflective, with a focus on how the events of the past months or years since being denied fit into a larger plan and understanding.
Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business has long been known for the generosity of its alumni, and this year total funds raised broke all previous records, the school reports. Tuck Annual Giving (TAG) raised $6.35 million in the last fiscal year and drew the participation of 70.9 percent of alumni, more than ever before at Tuck or any other business school for that matter.
This year marks the fourth in a row that more than 70 percent of Tuck graduates have contributed to the TAG campaign, which is more than double the average giving rate of other business schools, the school notes. Continue reading…